Atlanta city council debate citywide public safety taskforce

In a normal time, there would be no debate about establishing a non-binding task force to look at something. 

But these are not normal times. 

A veteran politician, Councilwoman Mary Norwood, organized an effort that most council members got behind, to impanel a task force to look specifically at crime in Buckhead. On Tuesday, she got final approval. 

However, members who represent other districts, said they had heard from residents who felt left out — that there should be a study group to examine crime in the rest of the city. 

New Atlanta City Councilmember Keisha Waites is sponsoring that broader effort and pressed for immediate passage. 

But that did not happen. Council decided the new measure should be sent to the public safety panel for consideration. 

Antonio Lewis, another new member, objected. 

"We want what you got," Lewis said, in a back-and-forth with senior member Howard Shook, who also represents Buckhead. 

Shook tried to offer some advice, suggesting that a smaller "grassroots" focus like what will occur in Buckhead, would be the better option than creating a second citywide public safety task force. 

Waites left the meeting disappointed her measure got referred. 

She will, however, fight for idea when the public safety panel convenes next week.